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What is 'carbon reporting?' This company makes sure that big brands stick to their climate-focused promises

"All these net-zero targets are meaningless if we don't really understand what it takes to achieve them."

chimney carbon reporting; Plan A track companies' climate pledges

Photo Credit: iStock

Companies want to appear as environmentally friendly as possible, but the prevalence of greenwashing proves that many corporations just want to seem green without actually putting in the work to make more sustainable products. One organization is holding companies accountable to make sure they're upholding their climate pledges to create a cleaner future.

Plan A is a carbon-reporting firm based in Berlin. Founded in 2017, the firm provides a digital platform where companies can see their environmental impact and track how their actions create carbon emissions and pollution.

CEO Lubomila Jordanova founded Plan A after a disturbing visit to Morocco in 2016, where she was horrified by the amount of plastic polluting the country's beaches.

The process begins with "data mapping," which allows Plan A to analyze emissions statistics. When there isn't enough information provided in a certain area, the firm utilizes proxy measurements to fill in the gaps.

Once the data has been mapped, Plan A creates a decarbonization to-do list for the user so that they can see how they can improve their carbon footprint by deploying more sustainable practices. 

"It explains specifically what kind of materials you need to switch to, what stakeholders you need to involve, and who is responsible for this decarbonization activity," Jordanova told Wired. Plan A's website indicates that the organization has more than 400 potential solutions that companies can take to improve their environmental impact.

The final step is the report that Plan A provides to users. It streamlines three different categories of emissions information — direct pollution by the user's assets, indirect emissions from purchases, and emissions stemming from the value chain — into a clean, tidy package that summarizes the user's environmental impact. 

"All these net-zero targets are meaningless if we don't really understand what it takes to achieve them," Jordanova told Wired.

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